09/18/2009 11:00PM

Ballynoe upsets in Claire Marine


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. Winter View, the 3-5 favorite, was last with a half-mile left to run in the Claire Marine Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park. And the closer the finish line got, the more apparent it became that Winter View would not get up. It was Ballynoe who got the better trip Saturday, and Ballynoe who got the better of Winter View, winning the $53,900 Claire Marine by a half-length over the heavy favorite.

Tom Proctor trains Ballynoe ($14.80) for the Blue Nine Stables, and James Graham rode her. The two don t team up all that often, but both have been going well late in the Arlington meet, and it figured their partnership would bear fruit. Graham broke from post 1 and saved ground most of the way, and when the pace in the 1 1/2-mile Claire Marine quickened after a mile had been run, Graham decided to save something for later.

That wound up being a good decision, especially when an inviting hole opened after Graham and Ballynoe turned into the stretch. The pair went through while petite Winter View went wide, and the ground saved may have translated directly to money earned in this case.

Four-year-old Ballynoe, who won her first stakes, was timed in 2:34.05 for the 1 1/2 miles on firm turf. Sweet and Flawless finished third, a neck behind Winter View. Sweet and Flawless s entrymate, Lemonette, who would have been a main contender, was a trainer scratch.